The question of when to recognize a
person, or whether what they have done merits being rewarded, is a
common issue especially for managers.
I believe you must start with
defining what you mean by recognition and what rewards are first. Once there is
agreement throughout the organization on these two definitions, you will be in
much better shape to guide and prescribe when to use each of them
sure how you did with learning a foreign language at high school, if you needed
to do that. When I was trying to learn French growing up in England, it was a
matter of rote grammar drills, writing out the different verb tenses, and very
little conversational practice.
I cannot speak French today so can never claim to be fluent.
I also spent two years in my early twenties living in Belgium and
gained some Flemish language skills. However, upon returning to Canada and many
years absent with speaking Flemish, I have found out that if you don’t use a language, you lose it.
That’s why being fluent with the data gleaned from your recognition programs is such a necessary skill for you as a recognition manager or program administrator. If you don’t use it you’ll lose it.
have always been a big advocate of the fact that it’s the quality of your
recognition that makes it a big deal.
and time again, I have witnessed how when you put more of a personal touch into
the recognition and rewards you give, the more meaningful and effective the
effect will be on the recipient and on their performance.
have summed this principle up before by saying, when you give people
recognition you don’t have to give them a reward; when you give people a
reward, you must always accompany it with recognition.
I have a social science experiment to share with you that validates this
In my training
sessions I ask managers in attendance different questions to help them get
grounded about employee recognition. I also want to discern how aware they are of
the impact a lack of recognition has on their employees.
What I can
assure you is, a large majority of managers already know that unrecognized
employees are at risk.
The most common
factor identified is that unrecognized employees will lack motivation, are demotivated, or have no motivation
at all. This leads to underperformance or low performance.
realize that when employees are
not appreciated it will frustrate them, they become unhappy, and could well be looking for another job so are
at risk of leaving the company.
research by Dr. Jean-Pierre Brun at the Université Laval in Quebec City, found
that the absence of employee recognition is the second leading cause of
workplace burnout and stress, right after workload.
A subscriber of our Authentic Recognition blog suggested I should
write about the difference between
recognition (more related to work) versus appreciation (more related to the
I asked them why this topic was
important right now. It seems their organization uses the Gallup Organization’s
Q12 engagement survey every two years. In the past year they focused on the
recognition specific question/statement #4, “In the last seven days, I have
received recognition or praise for doing good work”.
Her research, like many of us have found, led her to see that
“recognition in the workplace” has so many meanings.
She wisely observes that “people fundamentally want to be
‘understood and cared for’ or ‘appreciated’ and would prefer that over ‘recognition’”
She asked for my thoughts on the
differences between recognition and appreciation. Apparently, her
organization will likely continue with using recognition. However, she wonders
if more time should be spent on appreciation instead of recognition in order to
improve the Gallup survey scores.
Academic research has shown that managers are a contributing a factor to your employee’s perception of experiencing meaningfulness at work.
Researchers Francesco Montani and Jean-SébastienBoudrias reported that when managers take their role seriously, and serve and act as representatives of the organizations they work for, they provide them with salient social cues to their employees. These cues give employees a sense of meaningfulness in their own job. A manager’s act of genuinely recognizing their employees contributes to employee meaningfulness with their work.
So how can you use your recognition programs to create this greater job meaningfulness for employees? (more…)
Someone brought up a topic I have heard many times before in a presentation I gave this week.
How do you handle recognizing team members when there is a “rotten apple” of a team member on the team? You know what they’re talking about. They’re referring to the poor performer who is not pulling their weight on the team. Yet, they get included in the positive acknowledgments when the project is done.
The bottom-line? They don’t deserve the recognition lauded on the entire team. (more…)